Catching up on Some Classic Science Fiction

DSC03065The summer flew by and I barely found time to read. (That’s a pretty shocking statement for me.) Part of the problem is that I found the games on my phone. Instead of picking up a book, I’ve been playing Sudoku or surfing Facebook. Talk about a time waster.

So I put down the phone and lost myself in a few books. And another thing has changed with my reading habits. I used to feel compelled to finish every book I started. No more.

In the past two months, I started reading more books than I finished. Here are the ones I read to the end, and enjoyed.

Legacies (Book 1 of the Corean Chronicles)

I’d never heard of LE Modesitt, so was unsure what to expect, other than I was told his world building is awesome. In that, I wasn’t disappointed. The land and culture of Corus is so well developed, I could almost believe the author had been there.

The story is of Alcius, a young shepherd drafted to fight in a war. His goal is to survive and return to the girl he loves. All seems well as he works he way up the ranks, helped by his Talent, a power he can use to manipulate nature.

Then he gets captured by the enemy, and he finds he has a bigger challenge ahead than he’d ever imagined. Other reviewers have said Modesitt reruns the same coming-of-age story over and over. Since I’d never read any of his works before, I found this one to be an enjoyable read.

The Giver

Here’s another confession: I’d ever heard of the The Giver until my niece recommended it. I’m glad she did.

The story is centers on Jonas, who lives in what seems to be a perfect world. Conflict has been removed, every person is equal. At the age of twelve, people are assigned to their career and receive training.

Unlike his friends, Jonas was singled out to be the Receiver of Memories, to become the repository of all of the truth and memory of the past. What he learns causes him to question the world he lives in, and to ultimately, make a choice about how he wants to live.

At first glance, this story seems to be simple, but its themes are profound.


And yet another classic I somehow missed along the way. And it’s another book with outstanding world building. Reviewers have praised the author’s imagination, and rightly so. The detail of culture and setting is astounding.

With all that, I found Dune to be a little hard to get into. Maybe because of the complexity of the story, I kept getting a bit lost. But I persevered, and got caught up in the adventures of Paul, son of a Duke sent to a desert planet. When Paul’s father is murdered and he and is mother are hunted and presumed dead, a rival house resumes control of the planet and its wealth. But Paul wasn’t finished.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Taking a break from fiction, I read Nabeel Qureshi’s memoir of how he changed from being a devout Muslim to embracing Christianity. Of especial interest are his vivid descriptions of the Muslim community, which give westerners a glimpse of how tight knit that community is, and a small understanding of how Muslims think. Nabeel’s zealous quest for truth led him to place his faith in Jesus, in spite of the heavy price he would pay. This is a moving and challenging book.

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